Atlanta Botanical Garden.


A couple weeks ago, I asked my friend, Keri, if she wanted to meet us at the Atlanta Botanical Garden for their Garden Lights thing — which we’d never done before.

It was spectacular.

For real.

I am so, SO glad we did it.

I so, SO wish Alice had taken a nap that day.

But I’m still so, SO glad we did it!

The entire gardens are decorated with lights — there are tons and tons.  There are carolers singing to you in the tunnel.  There are snowflake lights hanging from the trees.  There are Christmas trees, and model train sets, and magnetic snowmen to decorate.  It’s just — spectacular.  Truly.

My pictures don’t even come close to doing it justice — I have no idea how to take nighttime photos!

But even in my dark, dark, fuzzy photos — I can see our smiles!

The frogs were a big hit.

I saw Tom doing this as I was walking toward him.  I had no idea what he was looking at.

He was looking at this — the tree lights reflecting in the water!  I don’t know that it would’ve occurred to me to look there, so I’m thrilled it occurred to him so I could see it.

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Alice and her BFF, Maggie, are wearing matching shirts! Can you tell?  I wanted them to pose together, but napless Alice said “no” rather loudly and insistently — so I got this while they were wild dancing.  Those crazy dancers!  LOVE!

They had lots of really cool model train sets outside and Tom was in heaven.  He didn’t want to see anymore lights after this.  He just wanted this.  He wanted this for days.  He loved, LOVED it. The only way we got him to leave, was for me to record all of the different ones for him to watch at home. LOVED.

The big tree and Alice.

And then they had all these orbs set up on their main lawn to Christmas music!  Y’all?  I wanted to stay *here* all night.  Tom at the trains, and me right here.  It was really neat.  Here’s a little snippet I recorded.  The kids have watched this on my phone about a dozen times since.

It was a really great experience and I’m so happy we were able to go with friends!

Yay, Christmas!



Posted in Baby Girl, Friends, Holidays, Kevin, Motherhood, Tom | 2 Comments


Is there anything better than making your kids look like reindeer while they sleep?

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I think not.

Pillowcases from THIS Etsy seller.

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This year, I wasn’t able to take my kids to see Santa.

But Kevin did!!

My wonderful friends, Tony and Julie-Ann, again had Santa Claus himself come to their house, and then they took amazing pictures of our kids and sent them to us.

Aren’t they the best?!

(Yes, yes they are!)

Now, I set out their outfits the day before, and told Kevin to remember to brush their hair — and he did great!

I couldn’t be there because I left at 7 a.m. to drive through the pouring down rain, so then I could run in the rain.

Of course I did.


So back to the photos — I was nervous about not being there, but I needn’t have worried.

For the first time ever, Alice sat on Santa’s lap.

But not without help.

It seems that her big brother did everything he could to get her to laugh and smile and have a good time.

Ohmygoodness, he’s the best big brother.

He seriously is.

Kevin told me all this, but when I got the photos this morning, I could absolutely tell that’s exactly what happened.

I couldn’t be more thrilled that Tony captured all these photos — I feel like I was there!

(Thank you, thank you!)

Want to see the story unfold for yourselves?  Because it’s the best.









Sweet, right?

Kevin said that Tom asked Santa for a “Power Rangers combiner,” and that Alice asked for “a big present and a little present.”

I’m pretty positive Santa will be able to deliver on those requests, sweet ones.


Posted in Baby Girl, Friends, Holidays, Kevin, Tom | 5 Comments

Christmas So Far.

It’s December 5th, which means we’ve been getting ready for Christmas around here for a couple weeks!

I love, love, love this time of year with my babies.

It’s just THE. BEST.

They are so excited about every, single, little thing!  And it makes my crafty, party-throwing heart swell to be able to do all sorts of fun things with them during this time.


We’ve been having all sorts of fun already — here’s what it’s looked like:

Christmas craft day with friends!  There were snacks, crafts and friends — my favorite things!

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We ran the Lanier Under the Lights 5K — which was running at night under the Christmas lights at Lake Lanier!  It was awesome! (And crazy cold that day!)

Tom’s Lionel train set was the first thing we set up — before Thanksgiving.  He’s been asking for it for about 9 months, so I was anxious to set it up, too! He LOVES it.  And he quickly built an entire town for it.  So, so, so happy!

I had a Christmas shopping day with my mom, sister and baby Hazel — who was the dream shopping partner.  She agreed with everything I picked out.

On a rainy weekend, I made this Pinterest project — it’s a Pottery Barn knock-off!  I guess PB was selling it for $130, but some clever person gave a tutorial for a $13 version, and that’s more my style so I tried it. ;)  I love it!

We met up with Tom’s buddy, Emma, who told him that she wanted to marry him.  He put his hand on his head and said, “Ugh!”  And she said, “Not right now!  When we’re bigger!”  When I brought it up to him the next day, he said, “I think I’m gonna hide when she’s grown-up-y.”

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We rode The Pink Pig with Emma and her wonderful Mom!  So happy to keep this tradition alive!  We could do this over and over. Such a great day!

The kids looking all adorable decorating our Christmas tree!  More on this crazy tree later…

Our elf came back!  And he brought breakfast and advent calendars!  My favorite thing about this was that it was super easy — I had almost all of this already, the only thing I bought specifically for it was the doughnuts — and it looked impressive.  My favorite!  It was so cute and the kids just were bursting with joy.  It was awesome.

We’ve been having a blast, and cannot wait for more!

Happy Christmas-time, y’all!

Posted in Baby Girl, Crafts, Family, Friends, Holidays, Motherhood, Tom | 2 Comments


We spent Thanksgiving with my parents at their house this year — and the kids had a blast!

The day we got there, the Museum of Aviation was having  a model train exhibit.

We took Tom last year, and he still talks about it — so were thrilled it would be there when we were visiting!

It was so great, and both kids had the most wonderful time!

And my mom outdid herself (as usual!) and Thanksgiving dinner was amazing!!

We were so happy to spend it with my parents and uncle — so great!

This is Tom and his BFF at their Thanksgiving feast at school!  Two cute pilgrims!

Grandma and PawPaw got a new toy, and Alice couldn’t be happier!

After walking around to see everything, he then told me he was just going to “sit right here and watch trains all day.”  Okay!

Watching trains with PawPaw.

He took a break from watching trains to fly a jet.  Of course.

I walked into the living room, and she was just like this.  No, really.  She’s an actual princess.

Actual princesses get real tired after a big Thanksgiving meal!

We had the best time, and were so thankful to be able to spend it with family!  Couldn’t love my family more!!



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Beautiful Callaway Day.


My parents spent a long weekend at FDR State Park and so we were excited to spend the day with them there and visit Callaway Gardens with them on Saturday.

It was just the most perfect autumn day.

Postcard perfect.

Tom and Alice just adored every single thing.

They loved the cabin my parents were staying in.  They loved the lake.  The campfire.  The acorns. The sticks.

Jumping down the steps.



Every. Single. Thing.

We couldn’t get Tom away from the campfire.

Alice loved the cabin.  She wanted to eat all their snacks, I think. ;)


We caught tiny frogs.  And collected huge acorns.

It was awesome.

After lunch, we headed to Callaway to the Butterfly Center.


Tom ran through it so quickly, I couldn’t get a photo of him!  He was running and pointing at butterflies, and then he’d be off again.

Alice loved trying to spot them too, and would just follow them around.  So cute!

Then mom and I rode bikes with Alice to the Sibley Center, and the boys met us there.

Alice had been talking about bikes since she saw me pack her helmet.  She was thrilled!



The Sibley Center — they couldn’t have loved it more.

Alice ran through every trail.

And Tom loved the children’s garden.  It has a little hideaway made of trees, and a little maze for them to race through.

Tom spent an hour in there.  No, he really did.  He just ran, and ran and chased and played.

He finally came out and chatted with me for a bit, collecting magnolia cones the entire time.

He wanted me to take a picture of his collection for you to see.




We made a quick stop at the vegetable garden where Alice made sure PawPaw saw all the purple and blue flowers.  She would bend down and show him every one, and then ask if she could pick it.


Tom saw the “beach” when we parked, and he asked about 1,327 times if we could go there.


That boy loves water!

Me when we got there: “Roll up your pants! Don’t get too wet!  I didn’t bring a change of clothes!”

Tom 2 minutes later: “I’m soaked!”


He ran.  He splashed.  He built sand castles.

In November!

It was a chilly day, and he didn’t care at all.  He was so happy.

(He had to finish the day in pajama pants and 2T shirt I found hidden in the depths of the van.  He would tell you it was more than worth it!)

As we were leaving Callaway that day, we saw a bunch of people pulled over on the side of the road taking pictures of the lake.

It was beautiful!

The trees were just perfectly wonderful looking.

I made Kevin roll down the window and I snapped a quick pic – it was truly gorgeous.


We had dinner with mom and dad back at their cabin, and then we headed home.

It was a perfectly perfect day.

The kids had the best time, and so did the parents and grandparents.

So happy we got to enjoy it together.


Posted in Baby Girl, Family, Kevin, Motherhood, Tom, Travel | 4 Comments

Happy Halloween?

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The Wednesday before Halloween, Alice started throwing up.

She was sick all day and night.

Kevin was out of town (of course!) and I did 1,023 loads of laundry in one day.

On Thursday, as I was trying to recover the house from that experience, I got a call that Tom had thrown up at school.

Knowing what was in store, I started to tear up a little in the car on the way to get him, so when I actually got him and he said, “Can I still go to the school party tomorrow?” And I had to tell him the hard truth, I really actually kind of cried a little.

Which should’ve been my first clue that hey, maybe I wasn’t too healthy either.

So approximately two hours after Tom started throwing up, I was right there with him.

And guess who was out of town…again?! (Of course!!)


I don’t even want to describe the horror that was Thursday to you.

So I will not.

But it was very, very bad.

So Friday morning, I emailed the two moms who had volunteered to help me with the class party and told them that Kevin would bring the supplies to them.  Then I packed up the party in a box and sent Kevin on his way.

Because Halloween preschool parties must go on!!

(It’s a lesser known saying, but I’m sure it’s true.)

So Friday.  It was Halloween.  And we here at our house didn’t care a bit.

We were weak. Puny. Totally drained and sad.  It’s quite pitiful, really.

But halfway through the day, I put on my cat ears and told them it was indeed Halloween, and although we couldn’t go to my sister’s like we planned, we could just go to a couple houses in our neighborhood.

They both were kind of like…



None of us were really eating anything at that point, but I asked them if they wanted to go trick-or-treating and they said yes.

Kevin wasn’t feeling well (but never got sick…I think probably hearing me describe it in detail made him feel sick for 36 hours.  Oops!) so I got the kids dressed in their costumes, asked them to pose for a couple pictures, and then pushed them through the neighborhood in the stroller to a couple houses.

(Our neighborhood doesn’t have a lot of kids, so most people don’t hand out candy.  It’s like hide and seek and trick or treat all in one!  Who’s doing candy? Ha!)

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If you don’t smile, Tom will force you.

So…it wasn’t the best Halloween, but I was happy they got to put on their costumes and trick-or-treat a little!

Speaking of costumes, aren’t they adorable?!

Tom is an Allosaurus.  (It’s like a T-rex, but Allosaurus is his favorite!)

He was very specific about what he wanted the costume to look like, and so we ordered this one for him.  It was too small, but he loved it and wouldn’t let me send it back for a bigger size, so we just went with it.  He loved it!

And my sweet Alice.  I made her a ghost tutu costume.  It was adorable.  She hated it.

So I took her to the store to see if she likes something better — and she did.


They had a Spider-man girly costume, but she didn’t like that.

She wanted to be Spider-man!

And so she was.

She put on her mask before we knocked on any house, but took it off as soon as we got back to the stroller so she could “see her candy.”

Cutest Spider-man ever.

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After we got home from trick-or-treating, she immediately said she wanted “cat make-up” like Mommy – so we did that and she was a happy, happy girl the rest of the night!

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Tom hopped back into bed after we got home, but I did think that the trick-or-treating kind of cheered him up — so I was happy!

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I think we went to four houses, and then they both said they wanted to go home — so we did.

It wasn’t the Halloween we planned or hoped for, but it still made them happy, and for that I am thankful!

Here’s hoping next year is a little less…scary.

(And a little less filled with puke.) ;)


Posted in Baby Girl, Holidays, Kevin, Motherhood, Tom | 2 Comments